Canadian Kolton Schmidt stumbled upon his great horse, 17-year-old Two Eyed Comanche (known as Moon) by accident. He and fellow snowbird Murray Linthicum were roping last winter at Schmidt’s family’s place in Maricopa, Ariz., (nicknamed “Little Canada” by the locals) when Linthicum mentioned he needed to sell the horse on which he’d been heeling.
“Murray is a really good family friend,” Schmidt explained. “We saw that horse almost every weekend in Canada for the last few years, and honestly, I knew the horse was good, but I was content with the one I had. I never really noticed the horse. I should have noticed him a long time ago, because he’s a bad sucker.”
Linthicum, who headed to win the gold medal for Canada at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002, had slowed down rodeoing and needed to sell the horse that he said was going to waste on the heel side. Within days of Linthicum mentioning he should sell the horse, Schmidt owned him.
“He’s super athletic, and super fast,” Schmidt said. “He’s a jam-up head horse but he gives you room for error. He has a lot of forgiveness with his movements. I’ve never had a horse like that. He makes my job a lot easier.”
Schmidt certainly wasn’t the first to notice how good Moon is. Riley Minor watched him go at their circuit rodeos for four or five years and tried to buy him from Trevor Bott, and finally got the deal done about seven years ago. Minor rode him for a year before selling him, and he was impressed by the horse’s quick move.
“He was really good to rope on, he had a good move and faced,” Minor said. “He was snappy. He finally sold him to me, I ran five steers on him and I bought him. I sold him, and the older he got the more solid he got. He looks really good with Kolton.”
It was aboard Moon that Schmidt took the College National Finals Rodeo title last year with Sawyer Barham, and he rode him the rest of the season on the rodeo road with Dustin Searcy.
“I really enjoy him in the summer when the score is longer when things happen farther down the arena,” Schmidt said. “I have a black horse that’s awesome but not easy to ride. Moon allows me to worry about my roping. He makes it easy for me, so when I worry about scoring and then roping, that’s where he’s so good.”
But by the time they got to Nampa, Idaho, Schmidt thought something was wrong with his trusty mount. He wasn’t just right, but he pushed through to finish the year. When Schmidt got home to Canada in the fall, he went to work figuring out what was wrong with his go-to horse.
“We took some pictures, and the vets decided we needed to do surgery on a bone chip in his right front knee. I took him to a pool to recover over Christmas for 10 days in Marana, Ariz.,” Schmidt said.
After Moon got the go-ahead from the vet, Schmidt rode the horse at one jackpot this January in Andrews, Texas, before taking him to the Sandhills Classic in Odessa, Texas, where he won the roping with new partner, NFR-qualifier Shay Carroll.
“We’re trying to make the same run over and over again, like the top guys do. No matter the set up—if I do my job properly, our run is the same no matter where we are thanks to this horse. We’re trying to get closer to the same run every time. You watch Clay (Tryan) and Jade (Corkill)—that’s what they do. This horse isn’t (Tryan’s AQHA/PRCA Head Horse of the Year) Dew or anything—but I can do the same thing every time and that’s huge.”
While Moon might have made his rounds before settling in with the Schmidts, he seems to have found a lasting home between the Schmidts’ place in Arizona and their other place in Alberta, Canada.
“I feel like this one is going to stick around. You try to find that one that will allow you to rope to the best of your ability. Everyone is looking for one just like this, and I’d rather have him on my team,” Schmidt said.
Moon by Kolton Schmidt
Saddle: Frontier Saddle, built with a Hogg tree
Pad: ¾ inch 5Star Pad
Feed: Lots and lots of alfalfa and Healthy Edge Purina
Leg gear: Classic
Therapies: Coffin joints injected as needed
Photo by Hubbell Rodeo Photos